An International University cum city-laboratory by Gilles G.
April 13, 2010
In the ‘Information Age’, one should not conceive of Cultural Pavilions in the same way as one would have conceived them in the fifties or sixties. They should now be faculties of Auroville’s University and show in a truly living manner "that is in action" what a particular country can contribute to the solution of humanity’s common problems. An invitation of this type to the countries of the world would be worth presenting to UNESCO’s General Assembly for this is what it expected from us and " up to now we have left it and humanity as a whole down.
Now that we have at least one good secondary school and many small seeds of a University of a new type, time has come for these components to come together and for us collectively to find ways to put much more energy in this field of work. Let us all start by calling inwardly but wholeheartedly for this new dimension to come down in Auroville.
Interestingly, India’s Ministry for Human Resource Development is in the process of launching a new scheme of 14 ‘Innovation Universities’ which would be world-class and truly autonomous bodies (that is what the Auroville Foundation is already) and would tie up with foreign universities (which is what we need to do). This could be " could be? " a golden opportunity for Auroville. We should ask HRD whether they can accept us as we are and want to be" something far more innovative than what they may be prepared to accept… for our objectives are extremely high:
We are not here to do (only a little better) what the others do. We are here to do what the others cannot do because they do not have the idea that it can be done. We are here to open the way of the Future to children who belong to the Future. Anything else is not worth the trouble and not worthy of Sri Aurobindo’s help.
For Auroville’s population not to grow beyond the ideal 50,000, most of its population will need to rotate which would be the case if people came here to learn how to start/improve societies and cities of this new type all over the world. As the idea of seeding new Aurovilles all over the world was there from the outset, we should state that one of Auroville’s objectives is to help the creation of sustainable small cities all over the world and that sustainability requires a change of consciousness " which is what Auroville is about.
Note that if India’s Government cannot buy land for a township " be it Universal " but that it does it each time it sets up a new University and that in our particular case it would not have to disburse much as a lot of the land required is already with us. Note also that land in the greenbelt should be secured not necessarily to be used by Aurovilians but to be taken out of private hands and the vested interests that go along with it. It could still be used by villagers interested in farming.
Note also that one of the main concerns of most parents all over the world is the education of their children (one of the many reasons being that, in the absence of pensions schemes, it is the way to secure their own future) and that hence a university to which their children would have relatively easy access (as neighbours) would be seen by our village neighbours as something to welcome. Many have spoken already about the need of a University here " but now time seems to have come.